[OPE-L:5256] Corrected: trpf/extra profits vs. extra surplus value?

rakesh bhandari (djones@uclink.berkeley.edu)
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 23:40:29 -0700 (PDT)

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I was a bit nervous posting to this tremendous list. Turns out the first
sentence was garbled. Here is the post corrected:

If an innovation in the means of production for a good which enters into
the workers' consumption is more widely used, due to its increasing
cheapness, and thus helps to make a wage good generally cheaper and so
reduce the necessary social time of all workers, then that innovation
raises the rate of exploitation for capital as a whole--the extra surplus
value does not accrue directly to the innovator and will not obtain at all
if the innovation is in, say, the polishing and cutting of diamonds.

It is my sense, though I still don't have the skills to make the argument
systematically, that innovations only bring the progressive capitalist
extra profits through value redistribution (I remain a student here of
Carchedi and Kliman), while, if meeting the conditions noted above, help to
raise the general rate of surplus value, the determination of which can
only be grasped at the level of capital in general.

I will have to look again at Geoffrey Kay's The Economic Theory of the
Working Class again (New York: St Martin's Press, 1979). If I remember
correctly, he has a scintillating discussion of how through competition,
capitals realize their cooperative exploitation of the working class.